God is with me; but more, God is within me.
Let me dwell for a moment on God’s life-giving presence
in my body, in my mind, in my heart,
as I sit here, right now.

from Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2012, The Irish Jesuits

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In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The Word was with God in the beginning.

Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.

What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

John 1:1-5

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Have you ever looked at a portrait of someone? Maybe a painting in a museum or a photograph someone took? Perhaps you’ve even created a portrait. What’s the purpose of a portrait? Have you ever thought about it? A portrait is a representation of someone in an image. And a good portrait tells you something about who the person is.

The gospel of John is like a portrait — only in writing — of Jesus, telling us about  who Jesus is. Before telling us anything else about Jesus, the author of John begins this portrait by helping us to first understand Jesus’ relationship to God. At first glance these five verses don’t seem to mention Jesus at all! Like a portrait we must read more deeply into the intended meaning. Translated from Greek (logos) “the Word” is actually a name for Jesus. Jesus was the Word, and the Word was God.

What then do these verses tell you about God? How do you understand this “portrait” differently?

Ryan Wilson

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God who came into being through the Word, during this season of love, hope, peace, and joy, may I come to know you more. Amen.

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Christmas highlights the belief that God is in all of us. We can ignore that, or we can help God be found in all of us. God is active through each of us for each other.

from Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2012, The Irish Jesuits

Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson is the Minister of Missions and Students at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, in Atlanta, GA. He currently serves on the board of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Youth Ministry Network. He and his wife, Mia, have a happy baby boy named Bates.

Advent Waiting: Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

David Burroughs

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